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When it comes to a hardwood flooring purchase, one of the common stress points is choosing how to finish the floors – pre-finished, or site-finished. Here, you’ll learn about the pros and cons of each option. Like what you read? Please pass the information along to your customers and co-workers.


Pre-finished hardwood flooring
  • It’s ready to go. No sanding required in the home, so all that’s left to do is install.
  • Beveled. Because the floors are finished before installing, there will always be slight gaps in between the boards.
  • Scratches and scuffs from installation.
  • Can be difficult to refinish.
  • Wood species used can be discontinued, making replacement more difficult. 


Site-finished hardwood flooring
  • It’s smoother. With sanding and finishing done on site, the floors appear flawless.
  • It’s gap free. No microbevel results in a flush, flat floor.
  • It’s better for kitchens. Since there isn’t any bevel, food and debris won’t get trapped.
  • It’s full of options. Choose from a wide range of colors, finish types. If you can find it pre-finished, you can get the same look site-finished.
  • It’s easier to refinish. Because there aren’t any additional hardeners used, it’s easy to sand down the floors, add a new finish, and get a good-as-new look.
  • It’s easier to get a custom look. Site-finished allows to add borders, herringbone patterns, basket weaves, or inlays for a look that’s uniquely yours.
  • It’s always in stock. Unlike pre-finished flooring, the wood species used for site-finished floors won’t be discontinued down the road. 
  • The finishing process is done after the floor is installed, which means you may have to wait a couple days longer to use your new floors.
  • Sanding is done on-site, which creates dust. But with the evolution of floor sanders, much of the dust is captured in filters and easily discarded. 


When you weigh all the pros and cons, site-finished flooring clearly outperforms its pre-finished counterpart. You’ll get a smoother, better looking floor that will also last longer.

Ready for a perfectly finished hardwood floor? Contact Timberline today.

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